With a gritty five-round performance against a bigger, stronger, and more experienced fighter, UFC lightweight Kenny Florian earned the respect of many fans who tuned into UFC 64.
Even though he lost a lopsided decision to Sean Sherk, the heart and mettle of the 155-pounder from Massachusettes was on full display.
That's just a day in the life of "KenFlo," who has made a name for himself as a mixed martial artists by proving doubters wrong.
Here is a snip from Florian in a recent Boston Herald article on his loss to Sherk:
I worked on my wrestling pretty hard. I showed up, by my wrestling didn't show up. He'd take me down, chip away. I wasn't hurt. He was rushing in for the takedown, but my wrestling wasn't kicking in. He'd take me down, control me a little bit, and that was his strategy. He did what he needed to do to win.
Florian goes on to mention that he will fight on the UFC 67 Silva-Lutter Super Bowl weekend card on February 3. He has not yet been informed about his opponent that evening.
But, if he plans to get back in title contention, it will almost certainly be against one of the top contenders in the division. And, if he wants to compete against dudes like Sherk -- who basically beat Florian with one arm (torn rotator cuff) -- he's going to have to bring his "A" game every night.
Because in the UFC, heart and mettle can only get a fighter so far.